Miami judge will rule if ex-Dezer COO is entitled to more than $10M in profits

Dezer admitted he may have threatened to kill Chesnick, calling it a “good motivator”

Miami /
Jul.July 02, 2020 11:30 AM
Gil Dezer with a rendering of Porsche Design Tower and Residences by Armani/Casa (Credit: ARX via Madison Global)

Gil Dezer with a rendering of Porsche Design Tower and Residences by Armani/Casa (Credit: ARX via Madison Global)

A judge will rule in a lawsuit brought by Dezer Development’s former COO, seeking millions in company profits.

Andrew Chesnick alleged that the Dezers created a toxic work environment and that he is owed more than $10 million of profits from projects that include Porsche Design Tower and Residences by Armani Casa, Bisnow reported. The suit, filed against members of the Dezer family and companies linked to them, alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment. It was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in 2017.

Gil Dezer called the lawsuit a “shakedown,” while Chesnick alleges that the hostile work environment led him to resign.

Gil Dezer, who referred to Chesnick as a “douchebag” and a “fucking moron” in emails, admitted in a deposition that his management style involves yelling at employees. He admitted that he may have threatened to kill Chesnick, calling it a “good motivator,” according to Bisnow.

Chesnick began working for Dezer as a consultant in 2012 to take over the Solis Resort Spa & Residences site in Sunny Isles, which was facing foreclosure.

The Dezers contend that Chesnick made mistakes. Michael Dezer, in a deposition, said, “He fucks up deals.” But if they had fired Chesnick before his incentive compensation had fully vested, he could still be eligible for some of it, according to Bisnow.

Among Chesnick’s mistakes, Dezer said he exposed the company by allowing construction without insurance. He alleged that Chesnick failed to pay the licensing commission for the Porsche Design Tower brand name. Chesnick also allegedly advised that a development site Dezer had been interested in buying could not be zoned residential, which turned out to be false and led to a competitor acquiring the site.

Chesnick reportedly declined an offer in 2015 to reduce his profit sharing, and then resigned, joining Terra as CFO. The Dezers’ attorney argued that Chesnick breached his employment contract by negotiating with Terra before he resigned.

Both sides presented their closing arguments via a Zoom trial this week. [Bisnow]Katherine Kallergis


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Hussain Sajwani of Damac with Surfside (Wikipedia)
Damac to buy Surfside collapse site for $120M — no other bidders for property
Damac to buy Surfside collapse site for $120M — no other bidders for property
Alex and Yanina Sapir (Getty, Instagram, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Developer Alex Sapir’s wife files for divorce, citing a “loveless” marriage
Developer Alex Sapir’s wife files for divorce, citing a “loveless” marriage
A photo illustration of the letter unit owners of Champlain Towers South in Surfside sent to the court (Getty Images, iStock)
Surfside collapse unit owners ask court to up their $83M payout
Surfside collapse unit owners ask court to up their $83M payout
 E11even's Marc Roberts and Romie Chaudhari with 60 and 90 Northeast 11th Street (Marc Roberts, Abingtonemerson, Loopnet, iStock)
Puff, puff, pass: Developers win approval for downtown Miami medical marijuana dispensary
Puff, puff, pass: Developers win approval for downtown Miami medical marijuana dispensary
Surfside collapse site (Getty)
Surfside collapse lawsuit reaches nearly $1B settlement
Surfside collapse lawsuit reaches nearly $1B settlement
Faena House at 3315 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach (Condos.com)
Faena House closing tops Miami-Dade’s weekly condo sales
Faena House closing tops Miami-Dade’s weekly condo sales
From left: Edgardo Defortuna, Stephen Ross and Gil Dezer (The Related Companies, Fortune International Group, Dezer Development, iStock)
Brokers, developers rally to capture Formula 1 buyers during first Miami Grand Prix
Brokers, developers rally to capture Formula 1 buyers during first Miami Grand Prix
A photo illustration of the Four Seasons Residences at Biscane Bay (left), the Mansions at Acqualina (middle), and the 1 Hotel & Homes at Miami Beach (right) (Condo.com, iStock)
Here are Miami-Dade’s top condo sales in April
Here are Miami-Dade’s top condo sales in April
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...